Break up the Phillies? With today’s victory over the Padres, the Phils improved to 16-5 over their last 21 games, a stunning hot streak from a club that was at or near the bottom of the league standings for virtually the entire first half. Here’s the latest from Philly…
- Chase Utley reiterated on Saturday that he “would be more than happy to listen to” the team if they presented him with a trade scenario, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports. “I do love Philadelphia. I’ve had a great time playing here, but out of respect for them, I would definitely listen to them,” Utley said. The second baseman had always been firm about not waiving his no-trade clause to accommodate a deal, but as Zolecki notes, Utley’s stance softened a bit during Spring Training when he said he’d listen to the team’s proposal if other veterans were dealt. This is exactly what has come to pass this summer, as Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon and Ben Revere were all traded.
- In another Zolecki piece, Utley said “I think that’s a little too far to look ahead” when asked if he’d still be a Phillie on September 1, and said “who knows?” when asked if he’d expected to finish the season in Philadelphia.
- Odubel Herrera has been a solid contributor for the Phillies and is earning himself consideration as a long-term building block, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jake Kaplan writes. Taken from the Rangers in the Rule 5 draft last winter, Herrera boasted a .289/.320/.422 slash line over 343 plate appearances as the Phils’ regular center fielder prior to Sunday’s action.
- The Phillies should stick to short-term contracts for veterans over the next season or two when filling out roster depth, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes, particularly in the starting rotation. “There is no sense for them to start digging another financial hole like the one they are almost finished climbing out of,” Murphy writes, arguing that the Phils need to keep payroll flexibility for around 2018 when they’re ready to contend again.